clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Kitchen Gadget Shopping Guide

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Any cook, from a bumbling novice to a James Beard Award-winning chef, relies on at least a few tools in the kitchen. Some are essential basics, like an excellent blender or a sharp-as-hell chef knife, while others offer clever shortcuts, like an avocado slicer or a dumpling wrapper. Then there are the gadgets that solve problems you didn’t realize you had, like a special pot for making mac and cheese or tool for slicing... kiwi.

Which kitchen gadgets are really necessary? Which are more a hassle than they are helpful? And if they are helpful, which are worth an astronomical price tag?

Eater has spent hours testing food-related gadgets, from the basic (rice cookers!) to the gimmicky (the Pancakebot!), in The Kitchen Gadget Test Show and previously in You Can Do This! video series. Now you can find them all — and watch all the video reviews — right here.

Price

$ $$ $$$ $$$$

Type

Shortcuts Basics For Fun

EZ Salad Cutting Bowl, $11.46

A slotted bowl promises "healthy and fresh salads in 60 seconds” (though much as a knife can’t guarantee what it cuts will be “healthy," a bowl can’t either).

Breakfast Sandwich Maker, $22.99

Meet the unitasker of all unitaskers: the breakfast sandwich maker from Hamilton Beach that aims to replace your frying pan.

Egg Poacher, $23.99

Poaching eggs is notoriously difficult — which is why this ExcelSteel gadget promises perfectly poached eggs every time.

Mac and Cheese Maker, $42

This little contraption with the words “Mac & Cheese Nation” on it looks like a cross between an electric kettle and a children’s toy.

Avocado Slicer, $9.99

This handheld green gadget slices your avocados into multiple thin slices at once. It removes pits as well.

Kiwi Cutter, $4.49

A handy tool that changes the game — when a fruit salad calls for kiwi, at least. The real question is how it fares against a trusty knife.

Pineapple Corer, $4.99

Fresh fruit is so much better than weird precut chunks. And this pineapple corer will actually make you want to dice pineapples.

Tasty One Top, $149

Odds are you've laid eyes on this pentagon-shaped induction cooktop, the star of countless BuzzFeed videos, in your social media feeds.

Pancakebot, $240

No one really needs a nearly $300 tool that will make custom-shaped pancakes, but the PancakeBot is pure breakfast entertainment and a solid party trick.

Airfryer, $299.95

Say you don’t have a convection oven at home, but still want to eat crispy, fried food — all while being healthy. Well, this is your guy.

Rice Cooker and Warmer, $268

With this Zojirushi rice cooker, you'll no longer have to babysit your pot of rice while it cooks. It also keeps rice warm for extended periods.

Rice Cooker, $29

A dorm room staple, this rice cooker is the one you know and love. Bonus: It can also handle oatmeal, soups, omelets, and pasta.

Rapid Egg Cooker, $19

Achieving perfect eggs is one of the most common cooking challenges. This cooker does a pretty good job at delivering hard-boiled eggs.

Electric Fish Skinner, $148

The name isn't great, but the Skinzit will help you skin fish and remove rib bones at home — without even touching a knife.

Onigiri Roll Tool, $16

No prior sushi-making experience is needed to use this "perfect" sushi roll machine (though it doesn’t exactly make flawless rolls).

The Sushi Bazooka, $12

This sushi roll bazooka has probably the greatest gadget name in this bunch. The all-in-one tool pumps out pretty neat rolls, too.

Indoor Smokeless Grill, $280

Lighting company Philips thinks you should be able to safely grill meat and vegetables indoors using infrared burners.

Dumpling and Ravioli Maker, $12

Finally, a dedicated tool for making Chinese dumplings, ravioli, and pierogi — that isn't your own hands.

Pizza Box Oven, $54

Who doesn't love pizza in a box? Cook and serve your pie right inside the pizza-box oven for a fun party trick.

Manual Snow Cone Maker, $24

Manually crank your crushed ice with the help of this very cute snow cone machine. (Syrups and other fun toppings not included.)

Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker, $55

This little red gadget — that operates with just the flip of a switch — is what happens when a big brand tackles the shaved ice machine.

Fluffy Ice Machine, $90

Of all the shaved ice machines out there, this one will yield the fluffiest ice for the best Korean bingsu. Condensed milk and red bean sold separately.

Copper Chef Pan, $60

This famous infomercial pan wants to replace almost all of the cookware in your kitchen — including pots and pans — with one single tool.

Professional Cream Whipper, $95

Sure, you can keep whipping cream by hand with a whisk or fork, or you can take this professional gadget for a spin.

Keyboard Vacuum, $20

A keyboard vacuum is probably a surprising add on a kitchen gadget roundup, but with a little work, it can be turned into a cold smoker.

Sous Vide Circulator, $808

Sous vide is now a sought-after method in most professional kitchens. Try the technique in your home kitchen with this tool.

Steel Cocktail Picks, $7

Who knew that these cocktail picks could come in handy for roasting s'mores at home? Now you do.

Pocket-Size Nutrition Scale, $7.90

Measure your grams, ounces, pennyweights, carats… Basically, do like the pros do and measure ingredients with a scale.

Glass Cordless Kettle, $30

Simplify tea time with a cordless water kettle that illuminates when hot water is near, and shuts off when it's ready to serve.

Breville Ice Cream Maker, $389

We’re sure you’ve wanted to make your own ice cream at home before. Just pour your ice cream base in and this Breville tool will do the rest.

Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker, $40

According to our extensive testing, this affordable ice cream maker is actually the best of the bunch.

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, $87

If you want to make ice cream at home and are also devoted to the Cuisinart brand, this is your product.

Egg Separator, $8

Maybe you're tired of having to separate your egg whites from your egg yolks by hand? If so, try this gadget.

Breville Induction Cooker, $1,800

If you have a gas stove at home but want the option of induction, this big-ticket item lets you easily control any temperature from 86 degrees F to 482 degrees F.

Culinary Centrifuge, $800

Long used by restaurants, this centrifuge means flavored oils, homemade butter, and quick cold-brew coffee could be in your future.

Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat, $25

Turn any old pan into a nonstick pan by lining it with one of these silicone baking mats. Unlike parchment paper, the mats are reusable.

Edible Ink Cartridge, $31

Have you ever wanted to print text or images directly onto your food? Now you can. (Compatible printer required.)

Hot/Cold Insulated Bag, $4

These insulated bags keep hot items hot and cold items cold, a real life-changer for all future picnics.

Instant Pot, $85

An all-in-one pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and yogurt maker? There’s a reason this is the internet's favorite appliance.

Breville Bread Maker, $250

Making bread at home is much less daunting when all that’s required is pushing a button. You can also add fruits and nuts.

Hamilton Beach Bread Maker, $48

There are more than 10 settings on this budget-friendly bread maker, including French, quick bread, whole grain, and cake.

Cuisinart Bread Maker, $75

A 13-hour-delay start timer basically means you can wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread.

Cuisinart Soft Serve Machine, $69

Another fun gadget from Cuisinart, this one promises soft serve in under 20 minutes. There’s a tool to mix in toppings and candy, too.

KitchenAid Pasta Cutter, $123

This three-piece attachment for your existing stand mixer will roll pasta dough and cut it into either fettuccine or spaghetti.

KitchenAid Ravioli Maker, $109

One of the more niche attachment options for a KitchenAid stand mixer, this one is dedicated to making sheets of ravioli.

KitchenAid Pasta Extruder, $125

Six different pasta shapes are possible thanks to this attachment, including fusilli, rigatoni, spaghetti, macaroni, and bucatini.

Grilled Cheese Toaster, $24

The dream of two grilled cheese sandwiches in under five minutes is possible with this bright yellow toaster from Nostalgia.

Vitamix, $400

Chef-backed and high-performance, the Vitamix can chop, emulsify, grind, blend, and heat right on your countertop.

Ninja Personal Blender, $88

All 1,000 watts in Ninja’s personal blender are dedicated to cranking out smoothies and juices with relative ease.

Magic Bullet, $32

In addition to smoothies and juices, the Magic Bullet promises to whip up sauces, spreads, and omelets.

Electric Pressure Cooker/Smoker, $150

This pressure cooker also functions as an indoor smoker, with actual wood chips — which is more than the Instant Pot can boast.

Butterball Turkey Fryer, $160

The safest way to fry a big bird, this fryer from Butterball will cook an 18-pound turkey in less than an hour.

Clever Kebab

This gadget calls itself "barbecue's perfect companion," but FYI: It's not that great at assembling kebabs.

Otto Wilde Steak Grill, $1300

The technology built into this pricey grill allows it to heat steaks all the way up to 1500 degrees, promising steakhouse-quality cuts.

Korean Barbecue Grill, $175

A grill specially made for Korean barbecue at home that doesn’t emit any smoke or even require butane.

Butter Pan Cast Iron, $195

The already-durable cast iron pan gets a polished pick up from Butter Pan, which promises a uniquely smooth version of the kitchen essential.

Lodge Cast Iron Pan, $30

Maybe the most recognizable name in cast iron, the Lodge pan will give your steaks a more perfect sear and bake knockout cornbread.

Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo, $799

Standard ovens are never hot enough for at-home pizza, but this countertop gadget hits up to 750 degrees to make wood fired pizza in just two minutes.

Ninja Foodi, $200

Because of this gadget’s dual lids, you can pressure cook a chicken to lock in its juices, then finish by roasting it under a convention fan.

Takoyaki Grill Pan, $22

This pan comes fully-equipped to be non-stick, which is exactly what you want when making takoyaki — fried octopus balls beloved in Japan.

Electric Takoyaki Pan, $33

When Yamazen decided to craft a takoyaki grill, it went with an electric model — but you still have to flip the octopus balls on your own.

Automatic Takoyaki Pan, $164

The takoyaki pan option from Sugiyama will flip the balls for you, but the gadget should still be paired with an incredibly watchful eye.

Sharp Steam Countertop Oven, $376

A countertop steam oven from Sharp with five cooking modes, this tool is similar to the restaurant staple known as the combi oven.

Mercer Culinary 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, $16

Perhaps the most basic chef's knife. This one has an eight-inch blade, is made of Japanese steel, is comfortable to use, and costs less than $20.

AccuSharp Knife and Tool Sharpener, $11

The easy-to-use (though not the most gentle) knife sharpener that you can carry around in your pocket... unlike your knife.

SunrisePro Supreme Knife Sharpener, $13

A highly quick and efficient knife sharpener that safely suctions itself to any countertop, removing the risk of the knife slipping or sliding.

Wusthof Electric Knife Sharpener, $180

It's a no-brainer for a popular knife maker like Wusthof to create its own knife sharpener; this one is electric which results in a more refined edge (at least, compared to the cheap manual ones).

Work Sharp Knife Sharpener, $129

For the hands-on knife user who's maybe a perfectionist, this sharpener is extremely technical and precise; but the different options can be confusing and messy.

Microwavable Pressure Cooker, $41

Sure, this bright red gadget will equip your average microwave with pressure cooking capabilities, but it won't really do it any more efficiently.

Microwave Sandwich Grill, $28

Make an actually-crispy grilled cheese, tuna melt, or your favorite panino in the microwave — in under five minutes, no less.

Rice Cooker and Sushi Kit (Microwave), $44

The best part of this sushi set is the rice cooker, which lets you cleanly cook rice in your microwave in about 10 minutes.

Copper Chef Microwave Grill, $59

Just like the Copper Chef pan on this guide, this microwave tool wants to convince you that you don’t need an actual grill.

Brava Countertop Smart Oven, $1095

This countertop smart oven allows you to sear fish and roast potatoes to a golden brown at the same time, all in under 20 minutes.

Tiger Electric Mochi Maker, $300

For the Japanese mochi fiends, an electric maker from Tiger saves you from the tasking and sticky process of handmade mochi.

Zojirushi Rice Cake Machine, $290

Just like the chef-favorite rice cooker from Zojirushi, this rice cake maker from the brand saves you from time spent pounding and cooking mochi dough.

Yakitori Charcoal Grill, $54

The most traditional way to make yakitori at home, this charcoal-fired home grill has two windows that let you completely control air flow.

Yakitori and Takoyaki Grill, $34

If that quintessential, smokey charcoal flavor that comes with yakitori isn’t a huge deal to you, then this compact yakitori grill is great.

Japanese Yakitori Takoyaki BBQ Grill, $150

An automated yakitori machine that rotates the skewered chicken so you don’t have to. It’s smokeless and indoor safe, but not the best option.

T-Fal Nonstick Fry Pan, 10.25-Inch, $10

This downright cheap frying pan is a nonstick wonder for just about everything, but especially eggs.

Calphalon Classic Nonstick 10-Inch Fry Pan with Cover, $40

It may seems like a step up from cheaper nonstick pans, but this Calphalon pan is just... fine.

All-Clad Stainless Nonstick 9-Inch Egg Perfect Pan, $100

This fry pan works like a charm, but it is pricey.

Kudu Outdoor Grill, $500

A trendy, newfangled contraption, the Kudu comes with variety of attachments, including a grilling grate and a cast-iron skillet.

Weber 22-Inch Charcoal Grill, $110

Perhaps the most trusted and beloved maker of outdoor grills, the Weber is a classic for a reason.

BioLite FirePit Grill, $200

This smokeless device is not as strong as a bigger grill, but it is more portable.

Instant Vortex 7-in-1 Air Fryer Oven, $119

From the brand that brought you the Instant Pot, this 7-in-1 tool's best function might just be its rotating rotisserie.

Ooni Pizza Oven, $275

A portable pizza oven that will actually deliver on Neapolitan-style pizza in minutes.

Roccbox Portable Pizza Oven, $700

You can make wood-fired pizza outdoors in this portable oven (though it's not as easy as it promises...).


Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.

Buy This Thing

This Simple Dishwasher Magnet Is an Argument Ender

Shopping

Sommeliers Pick the Best Wine Glasses for Every Scenario

From the Strategist

The Best Woks, According to Chefs and Cookware Experts

View all stories in Shopping

Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day